Archives For IronyOnRye


The beast isn’t totally dead yet, but American Apparel, Dov Charney’s brainchild and onetime outfitter of hipsters everywhere, is going through a public disintegration that signals the end of a fraught relationship between the hip and the company that tried to capture their money. AA filed for bankruptcy last week. It was never about the clothes, and probably to the company’s detriment.

The fact that AA was helmed by a seriously notorious pervert was never a secret, but the marketing almost celebrated the crassness of an owner who is now being pelted with lawsuits from former employees. Even when business was not awful, the transparent sexism of AA completely overshadowed the fact that they were using American labor to manufacture the clothes. Does diverting money away from international sweatshop exploitation make up for sexual harassment here in the States? What about the persistent rumors of discriminatory hiring practices in the storefronts? How about the fact that even the mannequins in the front of the shops were at one point decorated with comically heavy amounts of pubic hair in service of the CEO’s preferred aesthetic? The sheer amount of ways the sleaze overwhelmed their pro-worker policy doomed the experiment, even maybe along with hiring a unionized, American factory. Yet admitting defeat and saving overhead by shipping all of the manufacturing to the cheapest bidder would have been an indictment of the entire US manufacturing industry, especially the garment industry, and may never have been on the table. Still, Charney being the worst creep in the country other than Terry Richardson (and go figure, hiring Terry Richardson for a few photoshoots) did AA no favors.

Now, after vacillating between kicking out Charney and bringing him back over a period of several months, the tagline of using American workers is getting smaller and smaller at AA. And the affiliated workers are holding pro-Dov demonstrations, beating up an effigy of new CEO Paula Schneider. Stock prices are at an all time low. I guess what I’m trying to say is, once you start seeing AA clothes in your local thrift store, they’ll be worth double their usual hipster points. Be sure to be on the lookout.


Let’s talk about my least favorite thing in the world: Branding!

It’s quite possibly the most boring and inane concept to really talk about, especially when the conversation takes place in corporate doubletalk. (Have you seen the Nike powerpoint slides they use to introduce Brand to big university athletic departments? It’s a digital sleep drug) But deep down, when you strip off the MBA bullshit speak, it’s kind of sinister.

Taco Bell realized that their sales are tanking, so what did they do? BRAND. They opened a restaurant called US Taco Co. No visual connection to Taco Bell. Stupid goofy taco names on their menu like “The One Percenter” (lobster taco). Like magic, people start to come to this new Taco Bell and decide they like it. It’s Taco Bell but it isn’t, and the power of BRAND helps to cover the tracks, and all of a sudden people are stuffing their face with rerouted tacos. It’s working so well, there was even a rumor that there was a US Taco Co coming to the heart of Chicago’s hipster paradise, Wicker Park, right on Milwaukee Ave. Close enough to compete with the traditional drunk taco shack Big Star.

McDonald’s is in deep shit too, even worse than Taco Bell. Sales are down, employees want to be paid like real people instead of numbers on an overhead sheet, no one wants to eat their antibiotic meat. And it seems like every two weeks someone finds a chicken head in their nuggets. Here comes BRAND to save the sinking ship: a burger joint in Australia called “The Corner.” And it’s working.

Be on your guard. BRAND works, even if you pride yourself on not being fooled by corporate schemes. Especially if you pride yourself on not being fooled by corporate schemes. And drunk you doesn’t care if your tacos are actually indie. The marketing people are determined to crack every demographic, and the group that defines themselves by being DIY, independent and anti-big business is seen as a challenge, not a deterrent. Make sure your only big company purchase is PBR.

Let’s take a moment out of our day to discuss current queen of all things ass, Nicki Minaj (Miley Cyrus get the fuck out). She catapulted into the center of pop culture after a guest verse on biggest hipster in the world Kanye’s “Monster,” and has been there more or less ever since, reminding us that she has a big butt by talking about it non-stop. And by shaking it a whole lot in every music video she does. Sometimes she raps in weird voices, but mostly she just shakes her ass and talks about the pros and cons of having lots of booty.

This really wouldn’t be of any concern to us at Hipster Jew normally. We’re content to stay in our corner, which is talking about hipster garbage, and ridiculing anyone caught making a Hitler reference or people that get outed wearing SS uniforms for Halloween. So we really don’t care about Nicki Min–


Oh! Oh. Okay. I guess we’re going there.

So here we have a music video director taking a song about sex, and transforming it into some odd amalgamation of hip hop meets “Triumph of the Will.” I assume he had free reign to make the video however he wanted, after all, only artists are so obsessed with form and style that they would take a film like “Triumph” and admire it, get inspired by it, and then slavishly imitate it, while wholly disregarding the context. it’s something a film student would do after smoking a shitload of weed and then deciding to model his final project after a Reifenstahl piece.

But the degree of replacement imagery that’s in the video leads me to think that the director did this with full knowledge of the context. The whole thing: Nicki’s bent over ass pose replacing the Nazi eagle, Chris Brown as the surrogate Mussolini right hand man, the Young Money logo redesigned to take the place of the swastika, all calculated for clicks and pageviews. The whole thing is asking for a Twitter shitstorm, and since the director is retweeting but not talking to or engaging the people talking about it, it’s going to get one. And now even a small blog like HipsterJew is talking about it. Mission Accomplished.

Here’s the only part I don’t get though: Why is Drake the Pope? It feels tacked on. You couldn’t make him Goering or someone? Just… it doesn’t fit. I like my Third Reich tributes to be professional, you know? Shoehorning the Pope in to make some sort of tangential point reeks of amateurism.


South African brewers Garagista Beer Co. has a new marketing campaign: all about bashing hipsters. Their beer is for normies, not hipster scum. And they have a poster or two (or five) to go with it. I mean, they get the specifics messed up a bit, because of course they did. I’m pretty sure normals have a better chance of using the Ramones t shirt for fashion than a hipster would, seeing as the Ramones are mainstream as fuck and I’m pretty sure hipsters are only allowed to listen to post punk (it’s in the contract you sign when you become a become hipster, right after the clause about only drinking the most terrible booze), not first wave.

Or how about that the company is named Garagista? You know, like the word garage, where someone would homebrew for their first time… How would someone let other people know about it? “My favorite beer is Garagista… my friend brews it in his garage with a couple of other guys…you probably haven’t heard of it before?” Sounds pretty fucking hip to me, Garagista.

Now you’ve set up shop in an actual brewery, making a few different drinks. Little did you know you’ve opened the door to the hipster floodgates: someone takes a sip of a new brew and says “You know, their first one was better.” And you’d best believe it will happen; hipsters love irony, and surely some local trust funders will buy their beer simply because it would be so funny if hipsters drink the beer that hates hipsters. It’s coming, Garagista. You’ll have to grit your teeth and pretend to like it when every keg tap party you throw is attended by hipsters and the men are wearing tighter and shorter shorts than the women. Good luck, have fun.

I’ll pass though, an attention getting gimmick like this is pretty transparent, and I don’t think you will get “normcore” enough to be sold here in the States. Besides, even if you did, I’m not sure how appealing to not-hipsters is going to get them to switch from MillerBudCoors Lites.


So GTA Online’s new update is called “I’m Not A Hipster.” Well… okay, but anyone could have told you that. It’s the most aptly named game update I can think of, and frankly the least likely video game franchise I’d expect “hipster” to be associated with. Come on, it’s GTA. The game is huge! Every new main title is a big event.

This patch is named for the content, which after taking a look is more about clothing choices and character appearance than anything else. The new vehicle options are not hip at all: no mopeds, fixies, or public transit to be found. And then after that, it’s just a regular game update with your average list of new options for things such as colors for cars and whatnot, along with bug fixes and game balance changes. And to further hammer home how oddly normal this whole thing is, take a look at all the GTA Online players complaining about how they wanted more of this and that and all they got was dumb fashion options. Truly, it’s the same everywhere you go.


I’m mostly confused since every hipster I know has basically given up on new videogames and can only be counted on for nostalgia gaming like going to the Barcade, or dusting off an N64 you still have for a night of Mario Kart. The big blockbuster nature of new games like the GTA and Call of Duty franchises is an entirely separate world, and it feels odd for one subculture to acknowledge the existence of the other so openly. (Although, I really should have predicted that if it ever happened, one world would end up being sold and marketed to the other.)

So who’s going to play GTA:O this weekend to get in on those sweet sweet “I’m Not A Hipster” limited events? Anyone? …As I thought, all gamers, no hipsters.

Check this out.

Yes, that is a city bus sporting a PBR full sleeve. Look closer and you’ll see that it went all out and is showing off the tallboy, every hipster’s 16oz weapon of choice for any situation. Viewing party? Tallboy. Alleyway loitering? Tallboy sixpack. House party? Tallboy 24pack. Littering? Empty tallboy can. Taking the bus? Brownbagged tallboy. Shower beer? Two tallboys and a one hitter. Taking the bus that’s advertising tallboys? Use your common sense, cmon. Tallboys all day.

Okay, look. This is getting ridiculous. Everybody knows that the hipster beer forever and ever, amen is PBR. You can show up to a bar in a suit or a football jersey, but order a PBR and you’ll still be called a hipster. And it’s always by some guy that’s way too drunk and/or a few years behind the times that will yell it out, like he thought up the gem all by himself: “A PBR?? HAHA? What are ya?! Some kinda hipster?” It’s just one of those markers that will get you pegged, every time. It’s like getting caught walking out of an American Apparel, or buying a pack of Parliaments. Drinking PBR = hipster. It’s almost a universal constant.

So, why would anyone try this?




It’s a pale ale, but I had to look up the brewery on the internet to even get that much info. The packaging does nothing for the beer, and it’s just overall not really appealing. If I hadn’t been looking at every beer in the place, I would have skipped right over it. It doesn’t look hipster at all. If you’re going to name it after hipsters, go all out. At least put a mustache or a fixie on the can or something.

The one thing this beer has going for it is that it’s part of a company’s line of products that is pretty large, meaning they probably just shit out a pale ale for the fun of it, named it hipster for a laugh, and forgot all about it. And since hipsters try extremely hard to look like they don’t care, it almost works in a meta kind of way. I’m sort of doing contortions trying to get this to make sense to me, and I think that’s the closest I’ll get.

I ended up buying PBR anyway, because, well, you know.

Hipster Psycho

IronyOnRye —  01/23/2014 —  Comments

There are two types of parodies: the first is lazy, trite, tired, overdone, quickly rushed off the assembly line in a frenzied slapdash fashion in order to claim “FIRST!” Most of these have one or two genuinely funny gags that you can tell were the genesis of the whole parody: everything else is cheap window dressing to fill out the other three to five minutes. These are invariably not worth your time.

The second is something that takes a bit more effort and time to present to the world, but the result is fully formed and becomes the gold standard for whatever other parodies might be unfortunate enough to come after. This American Psycho parody is to all future hipster parodies what Spaceballs is to someone wanting to make a Star Wars takeoff (looking directly at you, Seth McFarlane).


Anyone wanting to do a take on American Psycho or hipsters is going to have their work cut out for them. And it’s not like a lot of hipster parodies weren’t criticized as lazy or unfunny before this, so really, anyone else out there thinking about making a Williamsburg send-up should probably get cracking on some other project; between this and Portlandia, it’s starting to feel like the market for making fun of hipsters is getting kind of saturated. I’ll offer a few suggestions: how about a song making fun of Justin Bieber, or another fucking awful “Shit _____s Say” video? We don’t have nearly enough of those.

I left Chicago behind in the fall to set out on a new life adventure in the wild Northern hinterland– or as close as someone like myself raised on public transportation and urban decay can get to the concept of “hinterland,” which in this case would be Milwaukee, just an hour and a half away from the good old Windy City. I have utterly failed to do so.


So far I’ve got to say that it hasn’t really grabbed me like previous places have. It’s nice and all, and it’s got the kind of things a hipster would deem as essential on a checklist: thriving microbrew culture, a restaurant scene isolated from highway chains, local artsyfartsy coffee joints that even sell their own house-roasted beans at the neighborhood organic food market. Oh yeah, and a neighborhood organic food market, music venues with indie performers often playing the day before or after a show in Chicago, record stores, and it’s even the homeland of the one and only Pabst Blue Ribbon, which has got to score MKE some extra cred. Everything is ripe for the kind of atmosphere that can take a person and sweep them into a storm of “omg SOOO indie” that they might never escape from, or at the very least wake up ten years later with eight awful tattoos and a baby that they’re raising on soy milk and gluten free bread with a hyphenated last name and a first name like Willard.

So… why hasn’t this happened yet?


I can think of a couple of reasons: pace and space. There’s no energy here, at least none that I can sense. It might be possible that everyone else is on a totally different wavelength, but I suspect that the pace of life, even in large cities, is more variable than I originally thought. A city like Chicago or New York is just fast; something that you know by instinct your whole life, even if you have never gone there. And once you do, that pace is like an atmosphere or a gas that seeps into you, you can feel it and sense it by the way the people are driving on the road. Even pedestrians on the sidewalk move faster. Try to spot the tourists the next time you’re in a fast city: even without cameras or gawking, people are passing them up on the sidewalk because they just know. And once you live for a while in a city like that or even take a vacation there, after day five or so you’re converted to their fanatic’s pace. Now sleep is no longer important; if the day suddenly had 36 hours in it, that’s 30 hours a day to do shit! Hit the bars, catch that show, spend an afternoon crate-digging with your friend for German new wave records that you can use to sample in your instrumental hip-hop side project that you have together, and still manage to meet up with that one guy who wanted to feature that weirdo cabinet you found at the thrift store in his art gallery, after the two of you decided that it would look a lot better with stolen subway graffiti fixed to it. You’d still only get five hours of sleep and it would be hipster as fuck.

Of course, something like that happens only because you’re forced to meet people, and you meet people a whole lot easier when everyone lives on top of each other. Your upstairs neighbor might be a stick in the mud who hates when you and your hipster associates party on Tuesday nights because Friday nights are passe, but you know and like everyone else in your neighborhood because the code minimum distance between houses in the city is six inches and if you don’t live in a house, your’re in an apartment with shitty rent so a three bedroom has six people living in it.

The pace is off and the space is too plentiful, and everyone eats too much cheese which slows people down and makes them boring, and has got to be the hidden third reason I’m moving back to the 312 as soon as I figure out how to fake my own death to escape my student loans. And hack a billion dollars from someone’s Wall Street hedge fund so I can live as the undisputed God-Emperor of Hipsters.


5) PBR
The hipster classic. Easy to drink and easy to be “the founder of the feast” by bringing a lot. Loses points for its low ABV, so you have to combine it with shots, or drink a hell of a lot and get that “all of my bodily fluids are beer right now” type of drunk.

4) Evan Williams

Those of us with trust funds might be tempted to get Knob Creek or Woodford Reserve, but when you’re pouring out communal shots for the whole party at midnight, you want more not better. Plus, this way you get to see who’s experiences with shooting whiskey and who’s a baby that will make entertaining faces and complain about how bad it tastes for at least ten minutes afterward. Bonus if they puke.

3) Rum & Coke

Party staple, though maybe a little corporate for using a name brand. Also has the tendency of starting out at the beginning of the night being a respectable ratio of Coke to booze, and at the end being a hellbrew of mostly rum with a dash of soda. Drink at your own risk.

2) Champagne

The one set time of year where it’s acceptable to drink the stuff, unless you’re a rapper. Resolve to make up more excuses to drink this during the upcoming year. Save a bottle or two for the next morning so that you can make mimosas, in case you’re a weakling that gets hangovers.

1) Microbrew

The ultimate in cred. Get one high in ABV so that you don’t have to drink an entire case just to keep up with the rest of the party. Pick up a gluten free pack in case you’ve got a friend with an allergy, or want to impress the hot chick on the fad diet across the room. Or if you plan ahead, go to a microbrewery outside of your local area the day before the party so that you can buy a beer that no one has ever heard of, ensuring your status as Drunken Master of Hipsters.